Recently, I have read and heard lots of negative feedback regarding U2’s choice of “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” as the first single from Songs of Innocence. Apparently, there is a large subsection of the U2 fandom full of people who dislike this song. To me, it is a rocking, fun, romper-stomper of a tune, with a heart of gold and a message that I very much relate to. It may not be “punk” in the same vein as what The Ramones performed, but that doesn’t really matter, does it? It isn’t an attempt to emulate The Ramones, but rather to celebrate the impact that that band’s music had on the four boys who formed U2. I think that it is a great song, with a fantastic video.
The video starts out with a solo shot of Edge singing the “Woah-oh” refrain. The image is highly pixelated and “fuzzy,” which is a theme that would persist throughout the entire video. When the band comes in musically, they are introduced visually in this video, and it is a fairly dynamic moment. The first thing that I notice when looking at the band here is that Bono has a guitar. Before he got hurt, Bono loved to play the guitar, even though he was no good at it. This video is one of the few visual records of that era of U2, and I have to say that Bono looks cooler and more comfortable with his guitar here than I have ever seen him look before. In general, the band members look sharp in this video, and there is a slight 1970s punk edge to the way they are dressed. Lots of black leather, silver studs, and chains. The video is nicely aggro, with the whole band behaving more “rock ‘N’ roll than is often their wont, as befits the song itself. I know that it is dumb and kind of silly, but I absolutely love that moment when Larry kicks his cymbal, and then Edge smashes his guitar at the end of the video. It gets my blood pumping just writing about it.
In addition to the performance by the members of U2, there is also some nice footage of The Ramones which is visible throughout the video, in the background at times and later filling in the shape of the members of U2. Altogether, this is an exciting, visually stimulating piece of work, with lots of great footage and some real standout moments. It’s a fun video, and a fitting tribute to the band that inspired U2 to get this whole thing started. For the completionists out there, there is also a one-minute long edit of this video that was used in a commercial from Apple, advertising the Songs of Innocence album around the time of its release.
Next week, we will be taking a look at the first video for the second single from Songs of Innocence, “Every Breaking Wave.” I hope you’ll all be back for that, and that you will leave some comments about “The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone)” below. Thanks for reading!
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